Our history dance workshops are a great way to make history come alive for your students and open them up to a different way of learning about a subject.
We did a day of history dance workshops at Harvey Road School in Croxley where they were having a ‘History Day’ to celebrate their school being open for 75 years. It was a fantastic day with a surprise outcome…
The teachers tried to run the school for the day like it would have been run 75yrs ago. That meant no interactive white board, no IT lessons, (the children wrote on the blackboard with chalk). School dinners was mince and mashed potato, then spotted dick and custard for pudding – yum!
The classroom tables were moved around to have the tables so that just two children could sit at them (instead of lots around one bigger table).
They wore severe clothing, with hair tied back and no jewellery. They didn’t smile much and were very strict (didn’t go as far as using the cane though!). Every time the head teacher entered a room everyone had to stand up and greet him – he said he really liked this part.
The teachers didn’t tolerate any talking or messing around. One boy wasn’t concentrating and was messing around so the teacher made him throw his work away and start again – 6 times! In the end he learnt to work harder.
They all had different lessons all day. Things like baking, sewing, times tables, reading, singing “All things bright and beautiful” which we remember singing at school too.
Playing old fashioned games in the playground like Snakes and Ladders, Jacks, and Marbles. They even had an ex pupil come in to talk to them, someone who went to the school 70 years ago. That was so great for them to ask him questions and get first hand stories of what it was like back then.
We taught every class a dance workshop. For the KS1’s we did English Country dance, which is what the children would have learnt back then. We danced to “English Country Garden” which lots of the teachers remembered dancing to when they did it at school.
For the KS2’s we did Jive dance. This is what the adults around WW2 would have danced to at the time. In assembly we chose two classes to perform their dances to the rest of the school, and they did an amazing job!
Listening to the teachers in the staffroom and the children’s feedback we were all really surprised with the results. The teachers said the discipline was sooo much better throughout the whole school. The children were being much more productive, and getting more work done than usual.
The children said they liked sitting in pairs at the tables and found it easier to concentrate. They loved learning to play games using simple things. It was interesting for them to realise that they didn’t need all the technology we have now, to still have fun.
A great day was had by all and we have already been booked for 2 more days. Brilliant!
Please get in touch for details on how we can deliver some exciting history dance workshops for your school.